What is a veteran?

Bob Young

A veteran (from Latin vetus, meaning “old”, no offense to my veteran friends), is a person who has had long service or experience in a particular occupation or field. This article refers to military veterans, i.e., a person who has served or is serving in the armed forces. According to the latest Census Bureau, there are approximately 21.8 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces. To put that in context there are 319.2 million Americans. There are over 500,000 veterans living in Arizona, ranking Arizona among the top 15 states with the highest concentration of veterans.

Why do we honor veterans?

America is the land of opportunity and a beacon of hope and freedom to the rest of the world because of those who have worn the uniform. Every year, Veterans Day gives us a chance to pause and honor the sacrifices, courage and patriotism of the men and women who have served our country in uniform. We should always recognize and respect the service of those who keep us safe — not just on one day but every day. So be sure to thank a veteran for their service. When you do, most veterans will tell you, “I was just doing my duty and it is an honor to serve.” We know that, but we still honor them for their selflessness, their sacrifice and bravery and for the part they played in advancing the cause of freedom and peace. We are a better nation because of their service. Whether they stormed the beaches of Normandy, fought in the jungles of Vietnam or battled in the sands of Iraq or the mountains of Afghanistan, our brave men and women in uniform have always put our country and values first. Our troops have protected us and defended our national security repeatedly and consistently and they deserve our gratitude.

Our PebbleCreek’s Armed Forces Plaza is a place where we honor all who serve or have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The plaza is located directly west of the PebbleCreek Eagle’s Nest Clubhouse and is open 24/7. The plaza is made up of pavers and seat caps engraved with the names of servicemen and women of PebbleCreek residents, family or friends. It also features military branch flags, the U.S. flag and a beautiful water feature.

The plaza is the host to patriotic public events and an Armed Forces Day Program. Residents, family members and the public are welcome to visit the plaza. For more information about the plaza, ordering pavers or any other plaza information, contact Traci Baker, Director of Community Activities.